The Conservative party today unveiled its ‘technology manifesto’, in which it promises to become “the most technology-friendly [government] in the world” if elected this year.
The document, which argues that technology will play an important role in reviving the UK economy, focuses on three areas; making government data openly available, improving the country’s broadband infrastructure and reforming public sector IT procurement.
Citing research from Cambridge University professor Dr Rufus Pollock, the report said that “setting government data free” would create £6 billion in ‘additional value’ to the UK. “We will create a powerful new Right to Government Data, enabling the public to request — and receive — government datasets,” the party said, mimicking a similar move from President Obama in the US.
Meanwhile, the party says it will “generate 600,000 additional jobs, adding £18 billion to Britain’s GDP” by rolling out 100 Mbps broadband infrastructure across “most of the population”.
The party also said it would open up government IT projects to smaller suppliers. “Under Labour, just nine IT companies received 60% of public sector IT spending,” the manifesto claims. “We can’t go on like this.”